Interview with Pablito Zago | graffiti art & graphic design 01/07/2013


Q: How long are you into graffiti? What made you to become a graffiti artist?
A: I've been into Graffiti and street art for like a decade now. Back in the days I was art director for a Urban and Electronic Music cultures festival, and we invited some artists like Brusk(DMV), Jaw (DMV), QDB, ...That kinda rang my bell and that is how it started. This said, I was already working as a graphic designer and illustrator, and doing exhibitions as an artist, but I wanted to go for bigger formats, and the spectrum of colors with sprays attracted me a lot. But then, it was mostly the energy that goes with this culture that pulled me in.

Q: Many interesting characters, many colorful 3D compositions, perhaps even more than great stories behind all those creations. How would you describe your style?
A: Describing myself is rather difficult for me, especially when you consider your job as always evolving. Thou I would say I was inspired by children illustrations a lot, something very naive. Then I like to play with this kiddy style and add something more to it , something more personal, more...for the big neurotic kids! I do things in an instinctive way. Also, I was fascinated by all kinds of masks from all over the world. I travel a lot, so this is also a big source of inspiration for me of course.


Q: How much does the character design help you to express your own personal stories? Why did you choose the character design as your main creative line?
A: I always was a big comics fan. As a kid I dreamt myself as a comic drawer. I think that is where it came from. It is true it's a big part of my work indeed, but I didn't make a plan and I don't prevent myself to explore new tracks, more abstract ones for example.

Q: Talking about the characters... I can see a lot of big xeroxes and amazing drawings with so many details. Really impressive. Please feel free to share with us some of the basic ideas that have been used for those creations. And a little about the making process.
A: On my last ink characters, I pile a lot of elements, it s something I would describe as the representation of my characters' complexity and their different aspects. I see it as drawers of our imagination. It is something that works better on paper, with ink, I can work more on details.

I work in an instinctive way. I see this as free jazz or « cadavres exquis » from the surrealists (you know when one starts a poem with a verse, and the next one goes on with a second verse, without reading the first one), I let myself go, I pile emotions, neurosis, play with clichés.

Q: Do you find this type of work as useful when it comes the big projects? Or you prefer graffiti spray in most of your creations?
A: Yes I thing it s useful to draw on paper before you go paint walls, that's my technique. But I won't say I prefer pencils to sprays, what I like above all is creation, under all forms, then be it on a page of paper or a wall, I don't mind... each thing is different. My work as an illustrator on paper or canvas is a solo work, something more introspective... Painting walls is something I like to do with my friends, when you're a bunch of mates in front of a wall: it's something funnier, more instinctive.

Q: Is there any message in your designs?
A: A message, I don't know. I'd rather talk about poetry. What I like is when the one looking at the piece tells himself his one story, I like the idea that a piece of art can wake a memory, a sensation, but generally speaking, I don't like to impose an idea, I like the idea that the viewer can make the message his own.

Q: Some of your amazing works are collaboration with your friends. How does the team work helps you to get inspired and maybe get your adrenaline to the next level?
A: I love collaborations, it forces you to think pieces in a different way. Trying to find a balance between people and their mediums is very challenging. Most often, all the collabs I do are with people whose work I appreciate but mostly because something human happens, a dialogue. I often paint with Goddog, I do a lot of collages with Cleps, Alias Ipin... the few paintings with QDB were always cool too.

Q: It's probably not possible to choose but do you have an ideal painting experience?
A: My best experiences, it s with collages in the street, without hiding myself, in day light. People don't feel attacked like with sprays , so they talk to you more easily. It s a deadly stuff when you can discuss your work with people that don't usually go to museums and whose culture s got nothing to do with yours.

Q: Any other artists you would like to work with?
A: There are so many... I always feel hard to name all the artists I love and that I'd like to work with. It's more important to me to
actually meet people and then see. I like the idea of doing things with people whose works are very far away form mine, so we can confront our styles.

Q: Nowadays, there are a lot of art mediums that help people to express their creativity. How much the street art can make a social impact?
A: Street art, post street art, graffiti... anything, I don't give a shit, it s just ART. For me, art helped a lot, it allowed me to escape
from a reality. I think it s a good way to get out the machine for a moment, make you imagination work... to me it s simply vital.

Q: Let's say a few words about the book designs. To me, they look like tourist's notes, something that is very unique and personal. Really amazing. What were the basic ideas?
A: With my travel books (India, Laos, Peru) the idea was simple: to be able to talk about my travels to my friends without annoying them with shitty pictures. It allows me to talk about my trips in an original way. I stick to telling simple things with a simple drawing I usually do a page a day, and I never do the same drawing twice, it s live and direct... it's also a good moment during my trip... Back in France I can't go on with it, I need to be there, physically and mentally. That's why they're all done during the trips. Once there that allows me to meet people. I now hope I will find publishers interested in them.


Q: Do you still enjoy painting as much now, or do you feel jaded at all, do you still have the enthusiasm?
A: Still and always and even always more! That's my drug! I'll never quit drawing, think about these stuff, do things in the streets,
graffiti, collage, getting ready for exhibits, even graphism, to me all this is only happiness, I feel very lucky.

Q: Are there any particular goals you'd like to achieve in your career?
A: My goal hasn't changed in years; enjoy myself, and I do enjoy myself. I'm lucky enough today to live from art, this is cool! Then my ultimate goal is to buy USA!

Q: Do you have any advice for the new artists?
A: Work and stick to this... and enjoy yourself.

Please feel free to share your feature plans and your website.
I work on a series of web documentaries about street art with friends: Wall Trip. We released our first three episodes on the web
( It s a project we love, we make documentaries about other street-artists we like. We'd like to find some network to broadcast them and go around the world of Street with this films.

I also work a lot in music as a grafic designer and as a DJ wth our label château Bruyant, a French EDM label.. to follow closely